After visiting Craig and the elementary school, Justin Tucker has learned the first two lessons for
- Love the way you’ve been loved, and Discipline the way you’ve been disciplined. For lesson three, Coach Petersen is going to challenge Justin in a sensitive spot for a high school coach - the tension between club and high school coaching.
Coach Petersen has put the challenge before Justin to travel for a club baseball tournament with one of Justin’s rivals, Jeff. Jeff stopped coaching high school baseball in favor of club baseball and risked being known as a sellout by those in the high school baseball community.
As Justin and Jeff begin talking on the plane, Justin starts to realize that much of what he came to accept about Jeff and the club coaches just wasn’t true. They were trying to build a community, a community built on love and grace. Jeff also explains that Coach Petersen’s reach stretches much farther than he realized:
“You were a big part of my decision to leave high school coaching,” Jeff said.
“What?” Justin said.
Jeff dove into his explanation, “It wasn’t so much losing to you and your teams on the field, but it was the things you would say about your teams. After one of the games, you said in the newspaper, ‘They finally have surrendered and lost themselves in the team.’ At the time, I didn’t have a clue what you were talking about. It seemed to me that you had something so unique and special that I had to figure some things out in my own coaching. Your players would talk about this brotherhood they felt together. I think I’ve been on some teams that had that, and I think I’ve had some teams scratch the surface of that. But to watch you do it so intentionally, there was no way for me to compete with you unless I made some personal changes and changes to my coaching. My first step was to contact Coach Petersen.”
Justin was stunned. He had no idea that Jeff had a relationship with Coach Petersen.
Jeff jumped in to fill in the gaps for Justin. “Yeah, Coach Petersen took me through a similar process you’re working through right now – to be Well Coached. I know it well. I knew that you might be hesitant to share your ‘secret sauce’ with me as a rival, so I went to your high school coach. I found out he’s trying to do something way bigger than all of us. He’s trying to raise up a number of coaches in the culture to be Well Coached so we start to see our opposing coaches differently. Instead of rivals, we’re brothers doing the same work in unity. Someone is going to win, someone is going to lose. At the end of the day, we’ve all got to work more closely together.”
Justin continued to listen and squirm a little in his seat. Sometimes seeing the big picture and your place in it can be a little uncomfortable. He had no idea how far the branches of Coach Petersen’s coaching tree reached.
As the two men build commonality and connection, they begin to coach the team together. Justin learns how to apply the lessons he has learned to this point as well as the newest lesson - “Give Grace the way you’ve received grace.”
If you're interested in reading more about this lesson or the other four from Well Coached, Complete Game is offering a free eBook copy of the book throughout this series. To get your free eBook copy of Well Coached, click here now!